Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


UPDATE: Fonterra fined $300,000 over food safety failings

UPDATE: Fonterra fined $300,000 over food safety failings in botulism scare

(Adds court comments from the second paragraph.)

April 4 (BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group, the country’s biggest company, was fined $300,000 for breaches of the Animal Products Act during last year’s whey protein concentrate incident.

Judge Peter Hobbs fined Fonterra $60,000 for three separate charges and $120,000 for a fourth charge in the Wellington District Court. The judge took a starting point of $375,000, before mitigating factors including Fonterra’s early guilty plea and steps it took to address the issue, though he lifted the penalty to reflect the company’s size.

“There’s no doubt the flawed reworking process and its fall-out had wide ramifications,” Judge Hobbs said. “I accept, however, the offending resulted from careless failure to follow proper procedure rather than a deliberate or reckless plan – things could have and should have been done better.”

The dairy exporter faced a maximum penalty of $500,000 for not processing the whey protein concentrate in line with its approved risk management programme, exporting dairy products that didn’t meet food safety standards, failing to notify AssueQuality of its concerns, and failing to inform the Ministry for Primary Industries it had exported product not fit for purpose.

Grant Burston, counsel for MPI, sought a starting point of $375,000, with mitigating factors and an uplift to account for Fonterra’s size resulting in range of $300,000 and $350,000. Counsel for Fonterra Adam Ross said his client would accept the decision of the court.

Auckland-based Fonterra released results of an operational review into the incident in September, which showed the contamination had occurred at its Hautapu plant in the Waikato back in May 2012 after workers became concerned a piece of plastic had fallen into a drier.

Rather than downgrade the product it was decided to reprocess the powder, using a non-standard transfer pipe that was thought to be the source of the contamination. The incident led to a global recall of the contaminated product.

That initial incident was compounded by “a number of un-related events in an unforeseen sequence,” chief executive Theo Spierings said at the time. The contamination was ultimately found to be a harmless strain of bacteria.

Fonterra reached commercial settlements with seven of the eight customers affected by the food scare, and is still facing a civil claim by France’s Danone, the parent of infant formula manufacturer Nutricia.

Ultimately, the contamination scare did little to dent global demand for dairy products, which have driven a surge in New Zealand’s export receipts and helped send the terms of trade to a 40-year high.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Sparks Fly: Gordon Campbell On China Steel Dumping Allegations

No doubt, officials on the China desk at MFAT have prided themselves on fashioning a niche position for New Zealand right in between the US and China – and leveraging off both of them! Well, as the Aussies would say, of MFAT: tell ‘em they’re dreaming. More>>

ALSO:

Loan Sharks: Finance Companies Found Guilty Of Breaching Fair Trading Act

Finance companies Budget Loans and Evolution Finance, run by former 1980s corporate high-flyer Allan Hawkins, have been found guilty of 106 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act for misleading 21 borrowers while enforcing loan contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Post Panama Papers: Govt To Adopt Shewan's Foreign Trust Recommendations

The government will adopt all of the recommendations from former PwC chairman John Shewan to increase disclosure and introduce a register for foreign trusts with new legislation to be introduced next month. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news